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Rules on Agreement of Subject and Verb

The rules of subject-verb agreement might seem simple, but they can be tricky. This is because the verb has to agree with the subject in both person and number. Here are some basic rules to help you get it right.

1. Singular subjects need singular verbs, and plural subjects need plural verbs.

This means that if your subject is singular, the verb should also be singular. For example, “The cat runs fast.” But if your subject is plural, the verb should be plural as well. For example, “The cats run fast.”

2. Collective nouns can be tricky.

A collective noun is a noun that refers to a group of people or things. Examples of collective nouns include “team,” “family,” and “committee.” When using collective nouns, the verb should agree with the way the group is acting. For example, “The family is going on vacation.” However, if you are referring to individuals within the collective noun, use a plural verb. For example, “The family members are going on their own vacations.”

3. Compound subjects need a plural verb.

Compound subjects are when two or more subjects are joined together with “and.” When this happens, make sure to use a plural verb. For example, “Joseph and Maria are getting married this weekend.”

4. Indefinite pronouns require special attention.

Indefinite pronouns, such as “everyone,” “someone,” and “no one,” require special attention when it comes to subject-verb agreement. These pronouns are considered singular, so use a singular verb. For example, “Everyone is coming to the party.”

5. For subjects connected by “or” or “nor,” use the verb that agrees with the closest subject.

When your subject is connected by “or” or “nor,” use the verb that agrees with the subject closest to the verb. For example, “Neither the dogs nor the cat likes to eat broccoli.”

By following these simple rules, you can master subject-verb agreement and communicate your message clearly and effectively. Keep these tips in mind, and you`ll be able to avoid common mistakes and improve the overall quality of your writing.